Guest Column: The Ballad of Marshae Jones

Source: Political Art

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC

Marshae Jones is a 27-year-old woman from Birmingham, Alabama, last month, was indicted by a grand jury in the fatal shooting of her unborn child. She did not pull the trigger. Ms. Jones who was five months pregnant, got into an altercation with another woman last year over the baby’s father outside a Dollar Store. That altercation led to a 23-year-old named Ebony Jemison who shot Ms.Jones in her stomach. Ms. Jones was treated at the UAB Trauma Center, but she suffered a miscarriage that was caused by that GSW.

“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid when he remarked about the shooting. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”

According to The Washington Post, a grand jury indicted Jones on a manslaughter charge, and she was taken to a jail in Jefferson County on a $50,000 bond. Jemison was also initially charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dropped after a grand jury failed to indict her, according to The Daily Beast.

The news rocked women’s rights activists and abortion rights groups in the state of Alabama, which passed a near-total ban on abortion essentially outlawing all abortions, no exceptions for rape or incest. “The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,’’ Yellowhammer Executive Director Amanda Reyes said in the statement.“

Marshae Jones was released and all charges were dropped. But her story does not end here.

In the face of public outrage, District Attorney Lynneice Washington said that she would not take further legal actions against Jones after reviewing relevant state law and facts in the case. At a news conference, Washington called the case “disturbing and heartbreaking” and told reporters prosecuting Jones was “not in the best interest of justice.”

“An unborn child was tragically lost, and families on both sides of this matter have suffered,’’ Washington said, according to a copy of her comments obtained by The Washington Post. “Nothing we do today or in the future will change that reality.”


What about in the best interest of the victim of a gunshot wound, an unarmed woman, a five month pregnant woman by the name of Marshae Jones? She could have died.

I was a trauma nurse that worked in Level 1 trauma centers for the majority of my career. I have taken care of patients who have survived a GSW, they know the horror of what has happened to them. What about Marshae Jones? Did no one take into account that she was the victim?

Whether or not you believe that the fetus is a human life from the moment of conception, a human being is the result at the end of nine months of pregnancy. And only women bear the physical burdens of pregnancy in our society, as it stands in the 21st century, demands far more of a pregnant woman than that of even criminal intent.

Marshae Jones lost her baby, she could have lost her life………….yet, the State of Alabama handcuffed her and incarcerated her for what purpose? Would a white woman endure the same disregard as a victim of a horrific assault on her life? Not to mention, she also lost her job and the list goes on.

To Alabama, and other states in this country that wish to follow, in the United States of America, HOW DARE YOU!

We, as women, are being treated as substandard human beings, live in a real world that is filled with hatred, bias, discrimination and misogyny, in the 21st century. This cannot continue. We will not allow this to continue. #resistance #beprepared